Sôgmô, Mercian Lord Spiritual declaim GUM vote

The Sôgmô of the State of Sandus and the Mercian Lord Spiritual Richard I have released a joint statement on the GUM Quorum’s recent rejection of the Sandum application for observer membership in the Grand Unified Micronational.

Read the Joint Statement of Norðurmýrarinnar here.

The statement complains about Sandus’s lack of due process and points to inconsistencies between the organisation’s values and its recent decision. Both leaders complained that the accusations are “baseless and sensational,” but that the partisan nature of the vote was even more grave. Both leaders complained that the result of the vote shows that the partisan nature of the organisation has returned with such a vote, despite the best intentions to overcome the political and ideological feuds which have existed for years.

The vote represents a stark departure from the community-wide trend toward overcoming political divisions, the statement argues. Instead, the “unprecedented opposition by the delegations of Austenasia and Wyvern” in lobbying against Sandus marks a break in the organisation’s principles and professional workings. The statement argues that Sandus’s rarely used policies should not have figured as much as it did in the Quorum’s reasoning and that the country, its principles, and its policies were deliberately misrepresented.

Both leaders even remarked the sincerity of their message by explaining the deep political divisions between the two countries. Yet despite this division between Sandus and Mercia, both are agreed that a grave and ill-principled decision has been made in rejecting Sandus.

Finally, the Norðurmýrarinnar Statement takes key focus on the argument that Sandum policy does not mean that Sandus interferes in the workings of foreign states, yet conducts itself diplomatically and academically.

[We collectively] should not confuse either academic or intellectual commentary—which is so prevalent in Sandus—with actual interference into the working of a country. In other words, talk does not mean action.

This perspective was borne out of diplomats in the Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie. There, Emperor Olivier of Angyalistan and others have argued convincingly that diplomatic statements and intellectual commentary do not reflect interference in a sovereign state. Such comments and publications reflect national concerns but do not interfere themselves in the workings of another country. This is different from the dominant perspective of the MicroWiki, where diplomatic statements, editorial, and commentary on a foreign state is often misconstrued as “interference.”

The statement was drafted while both leaders were in Reykjavík, Iceland, and takes its name from the local district, Norðurmýri.

Joint Statement of Norðurmýrarinnar

The Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola of the State of Sandus
His Lordship Richard I, Lord Spiritual of Mercia, Lord of Clyro, and Heir to the Würtige Throne,

Meet and declare this joint statement at Norðurmýri, Reykjavík, in order to declaim the unsubstantiated accusations levelled against the State of Sandus trapped in the political disputes of yesteryear and of years long past. These unsubstantiated claims are harmful to the working of the Grand Unified Micronational and the organisation’s legitimacy, and also raise serious concerns about the foreign policies of the Empire of Austenasia and the Kingdom of Wyvern and about the inner workings of the organisation itself.

The accusations were baseless and sensational, and rested on antiquated information that made Sandus appear as if she has not changed since August 2014. What is more, the State of Sandus was not given a chance to address and respond to these accusations directly. We were instead denied due process, especially given the serious and grave nature of the accusations, and had to speak instead through what few individuals spoke to us—the chief of which was the Vice Chair.

A Veritum Sandus article has already provided editorial commentary on the accusations, which can be read here.

The GUM exists today to be an organisation that is a common ground for diplomatic progress and is intended as a professional platform for strategic developments between micronations. Many have claimed that the present organisation has left behind the political partisan conflicts of years past, but the recent denial of Sandus’s application shows a serious argument to the contrary. Has instead the GUM simply removed all opponents and stifled all opposition? To use false claims and abhorrent extensions of the truth in order to sway a faction of the GUM’s Quorum of Delegates to vote a certain way is pathetic and unprofessional, and shows the partisan nature of the organisation.

The GUM does not and should not exist as the diplomatic playground of any imperial power, but as a meeting place for common professional work. When delegates of whatever country should seek to undermine this purpose through poor decision-making or petty politics, it weakens the entire organisation and the intermicronational community together. Sandus had made its case, its purpose, and its rationale clear and public for why we sought observer membership; but, this unprecedented opposition by the delegations of Austenasia and Wyvern flies in the face of what the GUM claims to represent: professional diplomacy in the micronational world. The rejection of the State of Sandus for observer membership, the lowest possible class of membership which does not confer any power in the organisation whatsoever, casts the organisation and the delegations which voted to reject Sandus on unsubstantiated grounds in a poor and puerile light.

Individual foreign policies, particularly those which are inactive and rarely used, should not be the qualifier for membership in the organisation. Indeed to do this is a clear rupture from the organisation’s own stated efforts to move away from partisan politics and disputes and, if Sandus were a member, such behaviour would have been contrary to the statutes of the GUM Charter: the decision is, nevertheless, no less contrary to the principles of the GUM.

That Mercia and Sandus, in addition to many other micronations, should be in agreement about the poor ethical and pragmatic effect of this decision should speak volumes. Our two countries are very much dissimilar: Mercia is a GUM full member, Sandus is not; Mercia’s government is conservative, Sandus’s socialist; Mercia has a constitutional diarchy, Sandus is a classical republic with an elected monarch at its head; Lord Spiritual Richard is a libertarian, the Sôgmô a member of a socialist party.

Yet, despite our differences, a veritable friendship has developed between our two countries because of a common understanding for the right and just world that we believe in. Though these philosophical perspectives are periodically at odds with one another, both Mercia and Sandus treat one another with human dignity and common respect—and that is a sincere philosophical and moral value in and of itself. This joint visit to Reykjavík where both of us have shared the same residence, broken the same bread together, and trodden the same paths together is, at best, a profound symbolic reflection of the nature of the intermicronational community as we both see it: a community where, though our differences are often discussed and conversed, respect for one another is shared.

No state is perfect in this regard, and we are not mistaken that Sandus is especially not. Indeed this decision shows that Sandus still has much more to do in order to change the community’s view of Sandus as a domineering political force. But we should not confuse either academic or intellectual commentary—which is so prevalent in Sandus—with actual interference into the working of a country. In other words, talk does not mean action. Sandus has no means or desire to interfere in another sovereign state and, in the past several years, Sandus has sought out an isolationist policy to reflect this. Though Sandus might comment and analyse, as we are accustomed to do given the pensive character of our nation, this does not mean we interfere.

We thus oppose the 14 January 2017 decision of the Quorum of Delegates of the Grand Unified Micronational against the State of Sandus’s application for observer membership.